by Mikaela Grosz
Spring is quickly approaching and do you know what that means? The spring musical is right around the corner! This year’s 2016 spring musical, Bye Bye Birdie, will be one to remember.
Co-directed by Nikki Platt and Mike Gosney, they bring their skills from Broadway to our kids right here at St. Joseph Catholic Academy (SJCA). This musical, taking place in the 1960s, emerged at a time when rock and roll was in its infancy.
Conrad Birdie, played by Cole Aschenbrener, is the biggest rock-and-roll singer of this time period. Being drafted into the army, teenage girls from all over go on strike. Alex Ambro, playing the role of Albert Peterson, is a hopeless songwriter trying to write a hit song for Conrad’s last goodbye. His girlfriend, Rosie Alvarez, played by Lexie Chiasson, finds a teenage girl from Sweet Apple, Ohio, to kiss Conrad goodbye to showcase his leaving for the army.
This teenage girl, Kim MacAfee, played by Madison Raith, finally going steady with a boy named Hugo Peabody, played by Drew Connolly, struggles to stay romantically attached to Hugo after discovering Conrad.
This romantic comedy is a must see and cast and crew have both been working very long hours.
“It’s a great experience I look forward to every year, and it makes you overall more confident as an individual. The long rehearsals are definitely worth it because you make so many new friends that last well after the show is over,” said Raith.
There will also be brand new theatrical sets built. Scott Grymkoski, a member on crew, said, “I love creating extravagant sets with my buds backstage and having our hard work pay off. The reward is having our creations showcased for an audience to enjoy.”
Don’t let both the cast and crew's talent go to waste, stop by the development office to buy your tickets and come out and watch this entertaining musical!
Valentine’s Day not just for lovers
by Kelsi Mallek
Some people dread Valentine’s Day while others look forward to it. February 14 or Valentine’s Day as we know it dates back to the 5th century and is a day in remembrance of Saint Valentine, the patron saint of love, young people, and happy marriages. We celebrate this day in remembrance of him.
Some may believe that Valentine’s Day is a day to share your love with your significant other and that it is. But it is also a day to share your love with your mother/father, and grandparents. Many people hate the idea of Valentine’s Day because they are reminded of the fact that they don’t have a boyfriend or girlfriend. But many don’t realize that this day isn’t just for couples. One can celebrate this day even if one doesn’t have a significant other because that is not what this day is about and many kids don’t understand that.
Sometimes we need to be reminded of the love our parents and grandparents have or us. One thing that we need in this world is reassurance, especially as kids. We are constantly being yelled at or told what to do, so sometimes it is nice to hear that our parents still love and appreciate us just for being who we are.
We all know how expensive Valentine’s Day can be in a consumer-driven society. Senior David Jamison said, “I feel like Valentine’s day is a very expensive time of the year.
Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be expensive. One can do many things without having to spend more than $20. Instead of going out and spending a bunch of money at a fancy restaurant, google some recipes and prepare a favorite meal. First take a trip to the grocery store, then prepare it together or surprise your significant other with a nice meal you made on your own (or with your mother’s help).
“Well I used to think it was kinda dumb and that it was just for couples. But now that I am in a relationship, I am kinda excited to spend it with my amazing girlfriend,” said Nolan Rhey.
Not everyone likes to celebrate this day. That’s understandable but I feel that everyone should celebrate this day. Even if you don’t have a significant other, express your love for your parents and ignore the fact that you don’t have a boyfriend/girlfriend.
“It’s just another holiday, unless you have a significant other,” said senior David Madden. This is what people in this in age. It doesn’t have to be this way. We should go out, buy something out of love for someone and give it to them, no matter how simple. Whatever it may be, do it out of love, do it for someone you love and share some love for this day of love.
How to Apply to College: Stressfree!
by Brianna Patterson
The stressors of being a high school senior can be gruesome especially when it comes to applying to the right college, but with a little guidance in choosing the right steps to take you may find this process very easy and nothing to stress too much over.
Applying to college can be a stressful thing if one doesn’t take the time to do things in steps rather than all at once. First find a college. Look up colleges in your area or out of state and thoroughly look into this college while making sure it has the area of study you’re trying to graduate in as a potential future career path. Make sure this college offers all that you are looking for, whether it be its degree programs, location, or its new opportunities.
Second apply to this college, and look at each question thoroughly and answer accordingly. Applying with a parent, teacher, or counselor may help this situation be quick and easy if you have any further questions beyond what the application asks. Most applications ask for your personal information like your birthday and social security number along with your high school achievements and an essay that helps the college get to know you as a person better along with why you have this college in mind.
Lastly send it off. After you finish the application it is now in the hands of your school to take care of your transcripts and teacher recommendations. Along with previously taking your ACT you will have to send those scores in, but don’t worry about the numbers because colleges don’t necessarily only look at numbers. They also look at what you have achieved during all of your high school years.
Always keep in touch with your counselor when things begin to feel difficult, trust that they have the answer to everything in order to help you move one step closer to your future career.
Students love Minecraft
by Emaleigh Bradley
“I Love Minecraft!” exclaimed St. Joseph Catholic Academy (SJCA) junior Jack Bolog.
While repeatedly hearing the same phrase from Bolog, a question arose begging to be asked of other students: “What are your feelings on Minecraft?”
A variety of responses were acquired from other juniors such as, “It’s a fun game, I guess,” said Kyle Burnett. Another student, Nicholas Anderson, said, “I really love the game!”
While some love it, others don’t really care as Andrew Harron admits, “I am indifferent.” Everything has its critics.
In the past, the original game maker was Swedish, but eventually Mojang bought the company out. The game has continued to sell ever since. The game went from a PC edition to also a pocket edition for mobile devices. Now, Minecraft can be found on many devices and consoles and manufacturers even have gone as far as creating a story mode. Basic research states that the average rating is a 4 to 4.5 out of 5, making the above opinions seemingly valid.
Through the creative, survival, and story modes, this game has been a successful hit and will probably remain this way for a while. The idea of the game is an indie strategy and building game. Throughout survival, one survives by crafting and building things with different kinds of blocks. The worlds generated are composed of different types of blocks that allow different uses, hence the above statement.
Through creative, it is a mode meant for fun, there is no hunger needs, nor a health bar; this is purely for creativity. This is the place to build with no consequence—endless blocks and place. Overall, Minecraft has good ratings ranging from critics to students.
Sports & Events
SJCA cheer 2016: Do They Have What It Takes to Repeat as State Champs?
by Delaney Feest
Last year at the WACPC State Championship, the Saint Joseph Catholic Academy cheerleaders took first in their division. After losing three amazing seniors and gaining two inexperienced freshmen can they do it? Do they have what it takes to repeat their victory? Have they come far enough?
The first thing these ladies need to do is qualify for state. In order to do that they need to either place in top five at the southern regional or score over a 70 on their score sheet. They have faith that they can make it considering at their last competition at Greendale they scored 72.5 and finished as the runner-up. The team that came in first was just 13 points ahead of them. Clearly they have some work to do but it’s an attainable goal.
Throughout the past two weeks they have been working hard to make up these 13points. They have worked hard to improve their stunting, clean up their dance, cheer, and jumps. They never really need to worry much about tumbling with former CYC cheerleader Emma Sipiora and former gymnast Delaney Feest leading the way.
Once at state, these girls would be going against ten, if not more, other teams in their division. They believe if they work hard and stay focused that they have a shot at getting back their title.
“They have worked so hard on doing their best. They just need to stay focused and be confident. All they can really do is go out on the floor and do the best they can,” said coach Kim Hoke. We shall see what happens in these coming weeks. After all, as of this report, their regional is just a days away.
Johns surpasses 1,000 points
Edges closer to Van Exel’s school record
by Colin Antonneau
To many high schoolers, scoring a couple hundred points by the end of their high school career would be a big accomplishment. To St Joseph Catholic Academy (SJCA) Junior DeAndre Johns, scoring more than 1,000 points is just all in a day’s work.
On January 15, 2016, the St Joseph basketball team matched up against the Thomas More Cavaliers with Johns in sight of 1,000 career points. A close game throughout the entire first half, Johns entered halftime just two points shy of the mark.
Two minutes into the second half, he made school history. The bench went berserk with coach Jose Winston grinning from cheek to cheek.
“I wouldn’t be where I’m at right now without all the people who have supported me along the way. I thank everyone for helping me get to this point,” said Johns in becoming one of only a few SJCA basketball players to score more than 1,000 career points.
One of those players happens to be Nick Van Exel, a former NBA All-Star. What does this scoring mark mean for John’s future? When asked how he feels about being compared to Van Exel, he replied,“ I don’t really like to be compared to another individual, especially if that individual is Nick Van Exel. It is an honor, but I personally have a very long way to go until I feel I can be compared to someone like that.”
Just a junior, Johns is on track for a very bright future with his basketball career. With the WIAA playoffs coming up, he is looking to inch closer to surpassing Nick Van Exel's school record, but more importantly, helping his team advance through the regionals and beyond.
Harris reaches 1,000 points through perseverance
by David Jamison
Senior Jalah Harris has enjoyed as fine a basketball career as any girl to come before her here at St. Joseph Catholic Academy. “This season is already special, we’ve accomplished so much, but to come out as state champions would mean the world,” said Harris of the Lady Lancers, who enter post-season play ranked No.1 in Division 4.
Harris has reached many milestones in her high school career. She has been a part of a deep run in the playoffs, won back-to-back regional championships, and recently eclipsed 1,000 points scored in her career.
The journey has not been without a few setbacks. In the summer prior to her junior year, she tore her achilles and had to undergo surgery. She worked extremely hard to be sure she would be ready for the start of the season, refusing to miss a beat . In the season opener against Vincent, Harris dropped in 13 points and grabbed 5 rebounds in her first game back. “It took a lot of commitment; after the injury I felt like giving up. It just felt good to be back playing,” said Harris. She averaged 12.3 points and 7.8 rebounds as a junior despite battling back from injury.
Harris has been a tremendous blessing to St. Joseph's basketball program. Since arriving on the scene, the Lancers’ overall record is 66-25 and counting.
Harris has known only one losing season; that came as a freshman. The team finished 8-15 with Harris earning MVP and leading her team in every category. She averaged 10.9 points per game as a sophomore accompanied by talented guards Jacori Witt and Star Keene, She also gained help down low with the emgerence of Sidney Cooks. The Lancers improved to 20-3 with these girls leading the way. How far they go this season remains to be seen, but if the past is any indication, expect excellence.
JV boys enjoy stellar season
by Cameron Mills
The St. Joseph Catholic Academy Junior Varsity basketball has enjoyed a great season led by head coach Jose Garcia. Though new to the St. Joseph Community, he comes with experience having been an assistant coach at Carthage College.
Garcia leads a team of eleven: ten sophomores and one junior. When asked about the inexperience on the team, he replied, “Honoring God with our attitude and effort is what we stand on. I couldn’t be more blessed to coach a group of athletes that give such effort every game.”
The team opened their season with promise. The first regular season game came at home against Golden Meir and the Lancers posted a win. They continued their winning ways at home against Milwaukee Madison and Catholic Central.
The Lancers posted their first road trip win at Racine Lutheran and continued the winning streak until an away game January 19 at the Prairie School. The score was close throughout the game, ending with a heart-breaking 4-point loss. The team then tallied wins against Shoreland Lutheran and St. Thomas More. The second loss of the season came against Dominican in another close and exciting game.
The Lancers are now on a four game winning streak with an overall record of 13-2. More significantly, the JV team is 9-2 in Metro classic play.
JV hoopster Max Serpe had this to say about his team: “Basketball this year has been an extraordinary experience with an amazing coach and team. Every single practice and game we give it our all on the floor, and it has definitely shown. We have an amazing record of 13-2 and we continually strive to get better. We have the potential to win state and I believe that we have the potential to achieve that goal in the future.”
Seniors look forward to serving in Nicaragua
by Alex Munoz
With graduation being about three months away, emotions give a whole new meaning to Bruce Springsteen’s classic song, Glory Days. As a senior looking back at all the memories I and many of my classmates have made, it’s truly hard to say goodbye to the place one has called home for so long.
Though it is saddening, there is one thing on almost every senior’s mind this upcoming May, the Nicaragua Senior Mission Trip. Personally, ever since I was a freshman, it’s been my dream to be a part of this trip, and this year the time finally has come! Attending a Catholic school, certain values have been instilled in us, and to be able to go to a Third World country and share these values is an amazing opportunity. However, with this being such a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, it would/still does require a lot of hard work.
A major component of this trip is fundraising. Those wanting the same opportunity as me have been working tremendously hard this entire year to raise all our money and supporting each other’s fundraisers. As the clock ticks closer to May, so many seniors are getting antsy! Mady Scopp, a senior, shared, “I'm ready to go serve those in Nicaragua. We've been preparing for the trip for a while and May will be here before we know it. I think the work we put into preparing for the trip shows we are capable of taking part in it.”
A constant theme of hard work is evident in the individuals who are determined to raise the $1,300 needed and prove capable to themselves.
Along with hard work, many seniors are excited, but nervous about traveling to a different country! Senior Erin Hettinger expressed her mixed feelings by saying, “I’m nervous about seeing such a different way of life, but I am excited to know that I will be doing good and hope that I can just help at least one person, which will make me happy.”
So, make sure to stay tune and help support your seniors go out and do God’s work! There are still many fundraisers and events going on to help raise money for the trip through the months of April and even May! Everyone, including myself, are working our butts off to create an amazing opportunity that can make a huge difference in our lives and set our path for our future!
SJCA snowed out of March For Life but trip worthwhile
by Calvin Rose
The annual March For Life is a huge rally and movement to abolish the laws favoring abortion and to show that life exists after conception. St. Joseph Catholic Academy goes on the March for Life trip every year and is open to anyone who would like to attend.
The march is held annually in Washington D.C. to commemorate the landmark decision making abortion legal. The march starts at the Smithsonian Museum and continues all the way to the Capitol building. This year, the trip was chaperoned by Father Todd, Mrs. Pitt-Payne, Mrs. Jaraczewski, Mrs. Greznia, and Mrs. Halm.
The trip was a successful one even though the students of SJCA missed out on the actual march due to a snowstorm. Still, students were still able to go to the Youth Rally, an EDM dance party at the hotel and had loads of fun on the bus! The Youth Rally filled a stadium completely and was one of the largest masses any student has ever attended.
Camryn Rauen, a junior who went on the March for Life, said, “The Youth Rally was fun and I was entertained the entire time.” There was a band and great speakers with kids from schools all over the country! Nellie Hund, a junior, once lived in Kansas and recognized friends from her old school at the Youth Rally.
The bus ride was about 13 hours with many stops in between. Returning members of the March for Life knew the tedious sleep loss they could expect by going on this trip but they went anyway because of their belief in the cause. Every voice counts! Besides, there is the rewarding experience of doing something good and having fun with classmates.
Some people who went on the trip weren’t all pro-life. They were pro-choice or trying to decide on which. Ariana Hernandez, another junior, converted to pro-life even without having attended the actual march. “Seeing all of these people and how hard this fight is shows that it is worth it. I am pro-choice. Life is sacred and we must hold it!”
Even without the march, the most powerful part of the event, student minds may have been changed or at least influenced to consider the life position.
The march for life is a great thing to be a part of to show off your pro-life side and to fight for the lives of all the unborn. Everyone on it has said that they would like to return and do this trip again, to get the full experience of the march. It is really a great movement and all are accepted. Fight for Life!
Twirler adds sparkle to SJCA athletic events
by Anna Steinmetz
St. Joseph Catholic Academy features a piece of entertainment at its sporting events that few other schools can boast. It is not a star athlete or dilly bars at basketball games, it’s a baton twirler. Not just any twirler—a national champion baton twirler!
Her name is Katiemarie Owen and she brings an interesting new twist to the cheer squad as SJCA’s very own game day entertainment.
Owen started twirling as a six-year old after seeing it in the newspaper. She thought it looked cool and wanted to try it. Turns out it was a great idea. She asked athletic director Dave Whittun if she could try twirling for the school and it was soon arranged that she would twirl for the football and basketball home games.
Owen loves twirling in front of everyone for the games; it gives her a type of rush. “It makes me feel like I’m important and makes me feel like I can do anything,” she said.
People at the games that Owen performs at really enjoy it and she tries to put on the best performance possible for them. Sometimes it seems as if the loudest cheering at the game is for her instead of for the teams playing. Everyone is really encouraging of her and supportive, even when that very rare mistake is made.
Twirling helped Owen overcome shyness by putting her into situations that she wouldn’t normally be placed in.
“One thing that I’ve overcome would be getting out of my comfort zone, being a lot more confident, and expressing who I am,” said Owen.
Owen juggles school, cheer, and twirling and still manages to put on a great performance at every football and basketball game. She works hard, does her best, and twirls that baton like few can.